Predictions About YouTube’s Paying Creators

It’s funny watching videos and reading comments about the revenue-sharing YouTube is planning to launch. As this video demonstrates, it’s making people giddy. Most assume it would be on a per-video basis. Many fear it will be selective. And a few think it’s going to corrupt the system because people will be getting secret payouts.

Having no inside information, let me rollout some specifics that I would anticipate:

  1. You’ll get a tiny fraction of a penny per view. Maybe a few bucks per thousand views you get. It will not matter how many videos you have. Just how many are viewed.
  2. It won’t be retroactive. When it starts, you’ll start earning based on views from that date forward.
  3. Currently YouTube’s vulnerability is the FireFox reload issue (you can manipulate views). This means they need more tools in place to limit exposure. This means, perhaps, that only views by registered people will count.
  4. There seems to be a lot of concern that some would qualify and some wouldn’t. I would anticipate that YouTube would allow anyone to participate (unlike Google Video’s selective policy), but they need a way to ensure that people aren’t earning ad revenue from copyrighted material. This means there needs to be a manual screening involved and YouTube doesn’t have the people for that. So I’m guessing they’ll start with some know content providers that aren’t jamming YouTube with clips from The Daily Show.
  5. Timing? Sorry folks but this will take a while. I’m guessing late second quarter or third quarter.
  6. No you won’t get paid to view videos.

9 Replies to “Predictions About YouTube’s Paying Creators”

  1. I was waiting for that women to say, “I’ve always relied on the kindness of strangers…”

    1. I hope their accounting software is better than their message software.
    2. Agree
    3. Five computers and a proxy?
    4. I think we’re all going to need lawyers.
    5. Agree
    6. Agree

    I have a feeling a new idea will be cropping up, paid subscriber online video. Like cable TV. I think youtube will be so huge they will have constant server issues and a host of other problems. People won’t want to hunt things down anymore someone will provide a service that will hunt them for you. With subscriber service the best will be offered and the content creator will actually get decent money for their work, like yours. Sure some of that will make it’s way to youtube, but what will push people over to this cable like system is convenience and reliability. This is not to say there isn’t value in youtube, it’s just that it seems they have too few people running the outfit to deal with the high demand and constant issues. Unless they get some real pros in there to address these problems the door’s wide open for the next Ted Turner.

  2. I think the fear that some people will be paid, and some won’t, is based on the fact that Paul Robinett (Renetto) let the cat out of the bag that YouTube has already paid, or offered to pay, a number of the “Most Subscribed” to create videos for them (he was paid to make his “Christmas Carol”, and “New Year” videos). Active community members are a fickle bunch, as has already been established, and most see that as dishonest, and distasteful, on YouTube’s part. Since the vast majority of those members are low view content creators, themselves, they feel as if a unfair precident has already been set, and are wary to trust that they will be offered the same compensation as the “big guys”.

  3. Given that as recently as, oh, this morning, I was having error messages with comments and response videos, the mind boggles as to how close YouTube is to implementation (my guess – not very…) I suspect that YouTube are in the Apple position of, “we can announce something’s sorta coming…. and that alone will keep you drooling for a while.” Personally, I don’t think the LiveVideo “defection” has added up to much more than a storm in a teacup. Monetizing some creators and not others seems more likely to brew discontent.

  4. Few on youtube aren’t discontent. I think the media world in general is a fickle place with such a wide range of personalities trying to catch the next new wave. The bottom line, like most things in any business will be feet, in this case eyeballs and dollars.

    I asked a few people today their thoughts concerning what Bill Gates said at the Swiss conference. Other than one Luddite who said we should blow our TVs and the Internet up, no one else could see us ever leaving TV. Course I disagree and agree with Bill Gates. I think TV is going to be the internet.

    I know Bill’s always been late to jump on board when it comes to these sort of thing; IE, xbox, investment in apple, the msmedia ipodthingy, MSNBC, MSsearch and his acquisition of WEBTV; which pretty much failed. Perhaps, he just had that one backwards.

    But I think he understands the business of human nature and that it’s slow to change, however, when he finds the competition’s edge he tends to gobble it up or produce the like immediately upon some proving. He wanted google and I think he knows the power of youtube and would like to put the classic windows border around it.

    So where does this leave the future of online everything internet?

    It feels like it’s Windows95 all over again. It’s prettier than Win3.2 and has so much potential, but it’s not as stable as you’d like it to be. But someone out there is scoping the landscape and looking to set up camp. I’d watch where ol’ Bill pounds his stake and see who his new neighbors are.

    When it comes to the future of youtube I think Chad and Steve are too stoned to deal with it’s power, I really don’t think they have what it takes, in a professional way, to control the youtube animal and I think they will be pushed out and maybe, just maybe MS will cut some sort of a deal with Google and a subscription tier system will be put into place. This means dividing youtube into pieces. Even with all of google’s wisdom and good luck1.6 billion is quite a stretch for them. Bill, though out of the MSCorpLoop, still has 498 billion at his disposal.

    Communication is there to be communicated, but it’s also there to be controlled.

  5. Yes I think when Renetto said he was paid and under his breath said he would have done it for free gave me a weird feeling inside. Like youtube is picking (paying) who is going to be popular. Sure I’d do a paid video for them or anyone for that matter but they should have made it a confidential agreement. Makes the whole youtube experience one that all us little guys have to compeat with users that are being paid to create!

  6. A little birdie tells me that video pages optimized for AdSense can earn publishers about $3.50 – $4.50 CPMs, if done right.

    That means your few bucks per thousand is about right — it would mean YouTube is cutting you in about 40-60% of the action.

  7. Fez- YouTube won’t be that generous as a portion of the revenue (40-60%). I’d guess 25% at best. But Adsense is only one revenue stream. They have sponsorships, display, and the potential of pre/post roll.

  8. Here are my concerns. The big players – ZeFrank, LonelyGirl15, AskANinja, and Nalts – they all started posting on other sites such as Revver because of the money-making opportunities (not just exposure – let’s face it, Revver isn’t that popular). I would think that many of those – and maybe the Brookers and Evolution of Dance guys too – would feel that they deserve to be paid for some of the views they had already given YT. If you don’t have a payment model, it’s fair game. But once it’s up and running – why would I give up on all the traffic from before? Then again, YT provided the initial exposure.

    A bigger problem I see is with “making it” on YT. If you aren’t on the featured videos pages then your chances of making a lot of money is very small. You aren’t on the recently released page for long since every video uploaded is there. So you need to be featured. As our friend Nalts here can say, once you’ve been featured even once, then your chances of doing well later are good. But how do you choose who gets featured?

    The featured page, as it stands, is chosen by YT people. As long as no one is making money, it doesnt’ matter who is on that page. But once money comes into play, then how to the editors decide who to feature? In essence they are saying “here’s the next guy we’re gonna pay.”

    This can open the door to more problems: some may complain that it’s not fair they’re not given the same chances as others. This is something that doesn’t really exist on Metacafe (from my experience so far) or on Revver that I can tell. On Metacafe any video can make it – the people there don’t choose what videos make it to thet top pages, and maybe YT needs to change – or even cancel – their featured page.

    This could also open the door to more quesionable activities: eventually YT will get thounsands of offers every day to pay YT to be featured on that page.

    I think it’s cool that YT is going to (eventually) pay their creators, but before we all get excited, let’s not forget that it is VERY hard to the average Joe to really get exposure on YT without it being a full-time job, literally working all day to get your video placed everywhere.

    just my $.02 (which is probably more than I’ll ever see from YT).

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